Village of Clive council heard an interesting idea from the local fire department as a method of recruiting new members.
The topic was broached at the March 23 regular meeting of council.
Village CAO Carla Kenney stated that the Clive Fire Department made a presentation to council regarding a “volunteer property tax incentive.”
This idea revolves around a property tax rebate based on the number of hours a volunteer spends working for the local fire department.
However, since the fire department is shared with the County of Lacombe, the idea needs to be shared with them first before any decisions.
The Town of Coaldale already has a similar program in place.
Public Works update
Councillors were reminded that spring will soon be here, along with things like melting snow, so culverts and catch basins are being steamed to prevent blockage.
“Clive is fortunate that its water source is groundwater,” she stated in her report to council.
“Our water comes from wells drilled into a sandstone aquifer 190 ft. and 390 ft. deep. Therefore, spring melt does not enter Clive’s water system.
Discolouration in our water is typically due to the chlorine reacting with the minerals (iron and magnesium) which naturally occur in our well water. Sometimes the iron sits as residue on the water main pipe walls and falls off and may cause some discoloured water as we have not been able to flush the hydrants yet.
Some houses may also have iron residue in their household lines and this can do the same.
The water is tested weekly by Alberta Health Services and is safe to drink.”
Kenney presented councillors with a report on the village’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Council meetings will remain scheduled as usual, but maybe handled through certain technologies rather than meeting in person.
Councillors passed a motion to close the village office to the public in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Kenney noted the Clive Emergency Management Agency Table-top Exercise was held March 16.
She stated in her agenda memo the exercise was held in the Clive Public Works / Clive Fire Department Building with 13 present.
“Rather than present the whole scenario at once, it was presented in segments, each segment having a number of questions posed to facilitate participation and discussion,” stated Kenney. “Segmentation also added a degree of realism to the exercise as participants were given only bits of information at a time, as would be the case in a real situation.”
Results of the exercise will be used to guide the village’s future emergency management efforts.
At least one councillor had questions from the public about how two bars in the village were able to remain open for business after the province ordered them closed to impede the spread of coronavirus.
Kenney responded that the two bars actually had their licensing altered so they could operate as restaurants.
They must allow minors and host no more than 50 people or half their regular capacity.
Readers should note these rules were also changed by the provincial government on Fri. March 27.
Restaurants are now forbidden to offer sit-down dining but may offer take-out and delivery services.
MDP passes First Reading
Council passed First Reading of the revised Municipal Development Plan.
Kenney stated the plan has been updated to better mesh with other bylaws.
The bylaw must now be presented at a public hearing set for May 25; however, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the public hearing may have to be pushed further back.
Kenney noted the volunteer appreciation event planned for April has been cancelled.
It’s possible it could be re-scheduled once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
The FunFest, planned for June 19 to 21, hasn’t been cancelled, but the village is aware this event could be affected by the pandemic and will watch the issue closely.
Municipal Excellence Award
Kenney stated the village will be forwarding a nomination for the minister’s Awards of Excellence for an organization it belongs to.
“Our practice is the operation of a Regional Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) that enables participating municipalities to share a pool of Board Members and a pool of SDAB Clerks,” stated the agenda memo.
“To date, there are 24 participating municipalities consisting of summer villages, villages and towns.
“Participating municipalities delegate the appointment of Board Members and Clerks to the Coordinator which is Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS).
The Coordinator is responsible for ensuring a trained and certified pool of Board Members (persons who sit and decide upon appeals) is available and ensuring that a trained and certified SDAB Clerk (person who makes the administrative arrangements for each appeal) is available.
“When an appeal is made, the appellant is directed to PCPS who assists the appellant with submitting the required materials and understanding of the process.
PCPS then consults with the municipality to arrange for the appeal hearing and assigns a Clerk.
The assigned Clerk coordinates the availability of a three or five-person panel of Board members and makes all arrangements for holding the appeal hearing (venue, notices, etc.).
Following the appeal hearing, the Clerk prepares the Appeal Board decision based on the direction of the panel and then notifies the involved parties of the decision.”
Kenney said council made the rare move to support a request on a federal issue.
She said a request came in for this bill that addresses the oil and gas industry’s abandoned wells.
Stu Salkeld, LJI reporter